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Stocks tumble…Retailers disappoint…GM recalls 2.4 million more…10 million still underwater

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are sharply lower in afternoon trading. Investors have been selling shares of major retailers following some disappointing earnings reports. The Dow and the Nasdaq composite are down 1 percent. All 10 sectors in the S&P 500 are down, led by telecom stocks.

NEW YORK (AP) — Quarterly financial results out today from major retailers are disappointing investors. Staples’ profit plunged 43 percent. Home Depot’s adjusted earnings and revenue came in short of expectations. Dick’s Sporting Goods also fell short and pared its outlook. Discount retailer TJX had weak sales and Urban Outfitters reported lower-than-expected earnings as sales at its namesake chain declined. Analysts say, with little other economic data out this week, those results are having a larger than normal impact on the market.

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling another 2.4 million vehicles in the U.S. as part of a broader effort to resolve outstanding safety issues more quickly. The recalls include 1.3 million older-model crossovers with defective front seat belts, 1 million sedans with a shift cable that can wear out, and 1,400 new Cadillac Escalade SUVs with faulty air bags. The latest action brings the number of vehicles GM has recalled this year to 13.6 million, a new record for the automaker.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 10 million Americans remain financially trapped by homes that are worth less than their mortgage debts. The online database Zillow shows nearly 19 percent of homeowners with a mortgage owed more on their loans than their properties would sell for. As a result, fewer Americans are putting their homes on the market.

BERLIN (AP) — Germany says it will restrict exports of surveillance technology to states that fail to respect their citizens’ human rights. Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders are welcoming the decision. Rights groups have accused German companies of selling spy software to countries such as Bahrain and Uzbekistan, where the technology is allegedly used to monitor dissidents and journalists.

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